Why Your People Are Fundamental To Your Long-Term Success
Well, that was quite a year wasn’t it? Regardless of your specific role within this industry, it’s more than likely that you have just experienced the most challenging time in your career.
Dealers, rep firms, manufacturers, and numerous others in industry-related roles have all felt the strain of coping with an economic climate that this industry has simply never experienced before. And perhaps not surprisingly, this situation has generated advice from all kinds of sources intended to help us weather this ongoing economic storm.
I have read a number of books on business survival and development lately, and I find that they all tend to focus on establishing and growing a business by recommending strategies related to the same few key principals. Familiar topics include executive leadership, financial planning and forecasting, process development, long-term corporate strategy, and so on. And while all of these represent important initiatives for growing any business, to me all of these should be considered secondary to something much more fundamental to the long-term success of any business.
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEOPLE
I have come to understand through personal experience that regardless of any strategic or tactical changes we might consider implementing in our businesses, the single most important factor in achieving success in everything we do is, and always has been, the people. Think about it. Is there any aspect of your business, large or small, that is not directly and dramatically impacted for better or worse by the people tasked with carrying it out?
The people that make up your organization are the single-most important factor in the level of success your business will ultimately achieve. Think about the various divisions within a standard ESC organization and the ways in which the people working in those departments contribute to the success of the company. The entire client experience is created, good or bad, one interaction at a time as they come into contact with the people throughout your organization.
The client experience may begin in the initial meeting with a sales person and move on to include various touch points with others including system designers, project management, prewire and trim out technicians, administration and eventually support technicians that may be providing service months or years after completion of the original installation.
On larger projects there are dozens or even hundreds of occasions on which the client will interact in some way with the various people throughout your organization and each of these moments has a built-in capacity enhance or tarnish the clients’ overall impression of your firm. From this standpoint, what could be more important than finding, acquiring, and retaining the best people possible?
Richard Millson (richard. [email protected]) is president of Vancouver-based Millson Multimedia.
MANAGERS MAKE IT HAPPEN
It’s actually all about the relationships that we, as owners and managers, establish, develop, and nurture with our people.
Building a high-performance team and inspiring them to do great things every day is also about seeing your relationship with each as something beyond the traditional employer/employee model. Frankly, it’s about working hard to understand and remember who your people are as human beings first.
Creating a challenging and rewarding career path for each of your folks should be first and foremost about finding the right position within the organization for each person and doing what’s needed to move them into those positions. It’s also about making the investment (spending the money) to provide the right tools, training, and support systems to give these talented people the chance to achieve everything they can within their department, their team, and the organization as a whole.
This idea of working hard to develop respectful and supportive relationships with people should also extend to those outside your organization, including all of your suppliers, vendors, and sub-contractors. Aside from their professional roles, the people that you deal with in these organizations are people first, and like all of us they will naturally work hardest to support those they have the best relationships with.
Our people can and will amaze us with their talents, ingenuity and loyalty, but only if we as business owners and leaders do our part in creating and maintaining an environment that allows great people to do great things.